Chinese is the most widely spoken language than any other language on the planet, with about 1.1 billion of speakers. Besides China, Mandarin is spoken language in Indonesia, Malasya, Philippines, Brunei, Cambodia, Mongolia, Singapore, Thailand and S. Africa.

Chinese characters are one of the earliest forms of written language in the world, dating back approximately five thousand years ago. Nearly one-fourth of the world’s population still uses Chinese characters today.

There are 47,035 Chinese characters in the Kangxi Dictionary, but the exact number of Chinese characters is a mystery. A Chinese child learns about 2,000 characters by the time he is ten. Usually speaking, 3,500 basic characters are needed to read Chinese newspapers and magazines.

Though Chinese has many dialects like Mandarin, Gan, Hakka and Cantonese etc., but Mandarin, based on the pronunciation of Beijing, is considered the standard and is spoken by about two-thirds of the population.

Almost all Chinese languages have a tonal system, which is used to differentiate homonyms. Mandarin Chinese has four tones, but other Chinese languages have more. Yue (Cantonese), for example, has 9 tones.

Useful words & sayings

Hello ni hao 你好

Good morning zao shang hao 早上好

Good evening wan shang hao 晚上好

Goodnight wan an 晚安

Goodbye zai jian 再见

I am John. wo jiao John 我叫 John

What is your name? ni jiao shenme ming zi 你叫什么名字

Happy to meet you hen gao xing ren shi ni 很高兴认识你

Thank you xie xie 谢谢

You are welcome bu yao ke qi 不要客气

How much? duo shao qian 多少钱

Too expensive  tai gui 太贵

Sorry dui bu qi 对不起

I don`t understand wo ting bu dong 我听不懂


0 ling 令

1 yi 一

2 er 二

3 san 三

4 si 四

5 wu 五

6 liu 六

7 qi 七

8 ba 八

9 jiu 九

10 shi 十